1st attempt @ bacon- not good

Lewis B

TVWBB Fan
Used the "bacon made easy" instructions. I had a terrible time with coals. I used royal oak briquettes because I don't like the smell of kingsford. I couldn't get it to light & then ignite the unlit coals. Bought a bag of kingsford which did work much better & got the bacon smoked. It is way too salty for me. Any way to cut down on salt? I washed it very well after the curing process. I did not mix cure with any type of sugar/sweetener. I didn't want it to burn while cooking.
Any suggestions?
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Wish I could help, but a few rinses and short soaks removes any overly salty taste for me, sometimes I wish it had a bit more, and I'm no saltaholic by any means.

Wonder if you tried an outside slice only?
 

Jim Lampe

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
used Morton's Tender Quick??

used 1 oz (1 TBSP) per pound of belly???

should be perfect!
 

Lewis B

TVWBB Fan
Yes 1tbs per lb of meat. I tried several pieces & thought they were all salty. Oh well. I'm not giving up! I'll try it again in future
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Lewis,
I haven't tried this but you could blanch a few slices in boiling water for a couple of seconds, dry, then fry.
I think it was member Kevin Kruger that mentioned doing this for less shrinkage or less saltiness, can't remember.

If you do make bacon again then test for the salt level after the rinse/soak before smoking, too salty? then soak longer.
Good luck!
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Lewis, I have to watch my salt intake and I use MTQ at one Tbs. per pound like the directions call for. What I do when it's time to get it ready for the air dry is I rinse it really well then I give it three 20 minute soaks changing the water each time. Because I don't use salt much I'm very sensitive to salty foods and I find by doing the soaks my bacon is much less salty than the store bought bacon.
Hope that helps.
 

JRAiona

TVWBB Gold Member
I use Prague powder #1 at the rate of 1 gram per pound of meat. That gives me 138 ppm. I try to keep the salt level at aroun 2% and give the bacon a good soak. I haven't had any issues with it being to salty. This cure calculator from Martin at Digging Dog Farm is a useful tool and I believe he's a member of the forum.

http://www.diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html
 

Geo S

TVWBB Fan
I too use the #1 prague/instacure in a Mortons tenderquik like clone, it's not as salty as the TQ, and only nitrite no nitrates.
Bacon cures though-rally, and no soaking
 

Bryan S

TVWBB Olympian
Yes 1tbs per lb of meat. I tried several pieces & thought they were all salty. Oh well. I'm not giving up! I'll try it again in future
That's the correct ratio of Tender Quick to pound of meat ratio. You are just probably more sensitive too salt than most of us. May I suggest that you soak the cured bacon, before smoking, the next time instead of just rinsing. Soak the cured, un smoked bacon, at the rate of changing the water 3-4 times over a 24 hour period. Also there's a Maple Bacon thread somewhere on this forum that the finished product is just over the top. It's the only bacon recipe I use for home cured bacon. The recipe is from the book "Charcuterie" by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn. The book is a must read (IMO) and well worth owning for all the great recipes and methods, that are detailed in the book.
Also the best advice I can give you is to use Pink Salt instead of the Tender Quick. You can control the salt more with pink salt than the tender quick, IMO. Hope all this helps, Bryan
 
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Lewis B

TVWBB Fan
Made some more this morning and it did not seem to bad too me. My son wouldn't eat it. I got to thinking, why even cure it? I keep my meat refrigerated/frozen not hanging out in a barn.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Made some more this morning and it did not seem to bad too me. My son wouldn't eat it. I got to thinking, why even cure it? I keep my meat refrigerated/frozen not hanging out in a barn.
Fried or grilled fresh side pork, as some call it, is good in my opinion, but it's not bacon and will taste different.
Curing preserves it, and I'm not sure what the refrigerated unfrozen shelf life is for pork belly, but not nearly as long as for cured bacon.
 

Geir Widar

TVWBB Wizard
If you are using tablespoons as a measurement for salt when you are trying to make bacon, you have a problem before you start to make your bacon. The "tablespoon" is not accurate enough. It is better to use grams, or any measurement based on weight. Calculate the salt in % of the meat weight. 2,5% is low, 4% is quite high. If you are curing a normal slab, the difference between the two teaspoons looks small. The difference in taste is large.
Further on, by using weight, you eliminate the difference introduced in volume from the different types of salt. Believe me, salt is not salt, measured in volume.
Good luck with the curing!
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Lewis,
I haven't tried this but you could blanch a few slices in boiling water for a couple of seconds, dry, then fry.
I think it was member Kevin Kruger that mentioned doing this for less shrinkage or less saltiness, can't remember.

If you do make bacon again then test for the salt level after the rinse/soak before smoking, too salty? then soak longer.
Good luck!
Yes to both. You can blanch slices in boiling water for several seconds or up to a few minutes. This will remove salt and also partially cook the bacon so it then will cook in a shorter time and crisp more efficiently (great when you're using bacon for bacon-wrapped whatever). Next time you cure simply rinse well then trim off a tiny piece. Cook in neutral oil till cooked through then taste. If too salty soak the entire slab in cold water to cover for an hour or two, changing the water once during the process then trim another little piece, cook and taste again. Repeat if still too salty for your taste.
 

Matthew

TVWBB Pro
Lately what I've been doing is 3 hr cold smoke. Then a trip in the oven til 145. You won't imply too much more smoke with coals. Done this the past 2 cooks, turned out great.
 

Matthew

TVWBB Pro
If you are using tablespoons as a measurement for salt when you are trying to make bacon, you have a problem before you start to make your bacon. The "tablespoon" is not accurate enough. It is better to use grams, or any measurement based on weight. Calculate the salt in % of the meat weight. 2,5% is low, 4% is quite high. If you are curing a normal slab, the difference between the two teaspoons looks small. The difference in taste is large.
Further on, by using weight, you eliminate the difference introduced in volume from the different types of salt. Believe me, salt is not salt, measured in volume.
Good luck with the curing!
I use a tablespoon. I use .25 less A pound. 5 lb. 4 tbsp.
 

Dan C. FL

TVWBB Pro
I didn't want to use Prague Powder at first...I thought about TenderQuick. The more threads I read, I came to the conclusion (I don't know whether I am right or not, just they way it registered in my head) that MTQ users were the ones complaining about bacon that was too salty. Some were simple errors like not realizing that MTQ has salt in it and still adding salt to it, others were just personal taste. So, I decided that the way for me to go was to bite the bullet and try Prague Powder because it seemed simpler to me to control the amount of salt. I haven't had one batch that's turned out too salty, even with just a half-a** rinse after the cure. Maybe the way to go is to try the Prague Powder.

FWIW- I'd also not shy away from sugar. It'll offset the saltiness you may be experiencing. In my experience, the edges do get black when you cook them, but they don't taste burnt. Just bring the stove temperature down a touch from what you'd use on store bought.

Keep trying! You'll find what works for you and your family!
 

Lewis B

TVWBB Fan
Trying it again...
Just put 4 lbs in fridge to cure for a week. Cut down to 3 TBs on MTQ. Mixed in some local maple syrup, a tad of brown sugar and some fresh ground black pepper. I'll update with result.
 

Lewis B

TVWBB Fan
I still have not sampled the bacon but I gave some to my in-laws. My mother in-law text me & said it was delicious!
Success!
 

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